When I first started my business, I worked exclusively from my 680 square feet apartment. I was excited to be able to work from home AND even more so about becoming an entrepreneur.
I’d heard good and bad things about working from home and read anything I could to avoid the pitfalls. I followed everything to a tee, but a few months into it, I realized something…
Some of the advice was actually causing me to be less productive!
I wasted a lot of time trying to follow advice that didn’t really help me. Advice like…
1) Dress like you’re going to the office
I don’t know about you but the first thing I’d when I got to the office was take off my blazer, heels and on those off days, unbutton my pants (a girl’s gotta breath). One of the perks of working from home is that you can be completely comfortable. Why not enjoy the perks? You can be just as productive in pajamas as you are in a suit.
2) You need a home office
My motto is “focus on your work, not your space”. If you’re like most people, you’re working with a tiny budget when you’re starting a business, or maybe no budget at all. Although a home office would be great, many successful businesses have started from people sitting on a folding chair from IKEA working on a cluttered dining room tables.
Ergonomics? Phffff, yeah right! The first year I started my business, I worked from my tiny square dining room table. My wrist started hurting and I realized I needed keyboard wrist cushion. Again, I had no budget, so I rolled up a towel and it worked beautifully.
Moral of the story – you’ll learn to be creative.
3) Make sure you unclutter your space
I was a huge believer of this at first. But during moments when I lost motivation (that will happen at some point), I’d use uncluttering my space as an excuse to procrastinate. The truth is that I’ve done some of my best work in cluttered space.
4) Don’t do anything but work for 8 hours
The first few months, I never did anything home-related during work hours. I didn’t wash a spoon, check the mail and laundry was completely out of the question during work hours. I kept my head down and worked. It didn’t work for long.
You need a distraction.
When you’re working in an office, you get to walk over to the water cooler and talk about American Idol or go out for a coffee break with co-workers. You rarely work 8 hours straight and that’s helpful. You need to do something that will take you away from working for a few minutes throughout the day. It keeps you creative and motivated.
5) End your day at 5:00 pm
Even when you’re not working from home, any entrepreneur knows this isn’t going to happen! Sometimes you’ll be working till midnight and there’s nothing wrong with making sure you finish a task even if it takes you till midnight. The joy of working from home is that you can take a few hours off the next day if you need it.
You’re an entrepreneur working from home. Unless you have to meet or talk to clients during work hours, there is no reason to be uncomfortable about deviating from the typical 9 to 5 schedule. You determine what works best for you.
What advice have you heard about working from home?